Buyer Beware: Looking for quality cashmere

(Undated) Nov. 25, 2004 - Cashmere sweaters have always been considered a luxury item, but do you have to pay big bucks to get a good one?

Pat Slaven of Consumer Reports looked at six different sweaters. Prices ranged from less than $50 to $450.

The under $100 sweaters were no bargain at all. One sweater claiming on the label to be 100 percent cashmere actually proved to be ten percent wool under closer analysis.

Pat Slaven points out the quality of cashmere fiber, "Cashmere should be a nice smooth fiber with smooth even scales."

Even if it is 100 percent cashmere, if it is made with a single-ply yarn it is not top quality.

Slaven says there can be many problems with one-ply sweaters, "If there is a hole in it, or a weak spot, it will literally pull out, and stretch out at the cuffs and border."

The expensive sweaters turned out to be cashmere at its finest. They would stand the test of time, but cost hundreds of dollars.

Slaven did find two bargains, a sweater from Land's End and one from Charter Club. They're good quality two-ply yarn and cost more than $100.

So if you're consider buying someone a cashmere sweater, avoid sweaters that cost less than $100 and look for at least two-ply yarn. You can find the yarn type on the label.

Posted 8:35pm by Chantelle Janelle